It was up to her

by Keisha Bell

Life is like a rollercoaster. Where you are today may not be where you are tomorrow. Sometimes you can predict your future, but often life will surprise you.

Meet Eve Jihan Jeffers-Cooper, known to many simply as “Eve.”

She is a talk show host, entrepreneur, hip-hop artist and actress. She was born in Philadelphia on Nov. 10, 1978. In 2002, Eve became an inaugural winner of the Grammy Award for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration singer Gwen Stefani.

Today, Eve is living her dreams while dividing her time between London, Los Angeles and New York. A multi-millionaire, many would be surprised to learn that after graduating from high school Eve was a stripper. She credits a rapper named Mase for convincing her to stop stripping.

Mase’s conversation was critical in redirecting Eve’s life. He saw where she was on that day – in that part of her life, and he saw where she could be tomorrow. The deciding factor in changing, however, rested with Eve. It was up to her to see a different tomorrow. She did, and then she acted on it.

Although Eve was first known for rapping, initially, she loved to sing. As a child, she sang in several choirs. She also formed an all-female singing group. They were good, but to gain more traction, the manager of the group suggested that they include rap. The singing group split, but Eve discovered that she liked to rap. She then formed a rap group, but eventually went solo.

There were many obstacles to overcome, but Eve was persistent in her pursuit. Doors began to open. Even then, it was not easy, but she was making gains.

She was in the recording studio collaborating with others and making music. Her craft was gaining recognition. By 2001, Eve received international success with her hit single “Who’s That Girl.” In that same year, she won the BET award for the Best Female Hip-Hop artist.

Eve did not limit showcasing her skills. She took on numerous movie and television roles. Also, in 2003, she started a successful clothing line. Currently, she is a co-host on a talk show.

Society has a history of looking down on women who work in strip clubs. Interesting, strip club owners, bouncers and bartenders are often not looked down upon. Strippers, mainly if they are women, have not routinely seemed to be given the same grace.

Hence, if you took a snapshot of Eve’s life at the point where she was dancing in strip clubs, few people would believe that she would ever position herself to be successful in any career.

Keisha Bell

Not only has Eve defied stereotypes, but she has publicly talked about her past. It has been difficult at times, but rollercoaster rides are designed to surprise you. It was up to her, and she took the chance.

Keisha Bell is an Attorney, author, and public servant. www.emergingfree.com

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